Changing environment prompts growth in Government Affairs

The fact that Steve Moye has one of the fastest growing offices at Emory is a reflection of the growing significance of government relations to Emory and all of higher education during recent years.

Moye, associate vice president for Governmental and Community Affairs, came to Emory last year expecting to handle all of the University's government and community affairs issues with the help of one assistant. Since then, he has hired two full-time staff members in addition to his assistant.

According to Moye, whose office is responsible for all federal, state and local government lobbying efforts conducted on behalf of the entire University, the additional staff reflect a rapidly expanding need in this area prompted in large part by steadily decreasing funding for research specifically and for higher education generally.

Moye said that in addition to recent decreases in private-sector funding for higher education, funding from the Georgia Research Alliance (of which Emory is a member) is down as well. On the federal level, Moye said that plans proposed by President Clinton and the Republican Congress each call for cuts in research and development funding of more than 20 percent over six years.

In a climate where such large cuts are becoming the norm, Moye and his staff are charged with the task of convincing legislators that government research funding and other higher education issues are critical to the future of the nation and the state.

"Given that a significant portion of my legislative agenda falls under the health sciences area," Moye said, "it is critical for both federal and state legislators to understand the negative impact drastic cuts would have on ensuring a safer, healthier environment for the future."

The staff members assisting Moye in carrying out these tasks include Kathy Fine, director of State Government Affairs; Betty Willis, director of Community Government Affairs; and Karin Lovelace, administrative assistant.

Fine covers all state government issues affecting Emory, Moye said, including those related to the Health Sciences Center and the Emory System of Health Care. Fine previously worked in Washington, D.C., as legislative director for U.S. Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee. She also served as counsel/legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell of Georgia.

Willis serves as the primary Emory liaison not only to local governments whose actions affect Emory, but also to the Druid Hills Civic Association and other neighborhood groups. Willis previously worked in government affairs with several health-related associations. She was senior legislative assistant to former Congressman Charles Hatcher, and managed the Washington office of former Georgia Gov. Joe Frank Harris.

Lovelace joined Moye at Emory soon after his arrival. She has served as a legislative assistant with the American Forest and Paper Association in Washington, D.C., and with the American Cancer Society. Lovelace also was an intern for House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri.

In addition to the external forces that have led to the need for more staff, Moye also cites the University's commitment to focus intensively on each distinct aspect of governmental and community affairs. "President Chace is extremely committed to having Emory represented at all three levels of government and in the community to protect and promote our interests," Moye said.

--Dan Treadaway

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